Dendrites and axons are two major neuronal compartments with differences that are critical for neuronal functions. To learn about the differential regulation of dendritic and axonal development, we conducted a genetic screen in Drosophila and isolated the dendritic arbor reduction 1 (dar1) mutants, which display defects in dendritic but not axonal growth. The dar1 gene encodes a novel transcription regulator in the Krüppel-like factor family. Neurons lacking dar1 function have severely reduced growth of microtubule- but not F-actin-based dendritic branches. In contrast, overexpression of Dar1 dramatically increased the growth of microtubule-based dendritic branches. Our results suggest that Dar1 promotes dendrite growth in part by suppressing the expression of the microtubule-severing protein Spastin. Our study thus uncovers a novel transcriptional program for microtubule regulation that preferentially controls dendrite growth.